Wood Identification Guide

by Eric Meier

When attempting to identify a wood sample, it’s important to keep in mind the limitations and obstacles that are present in our task. Before starting, please have a look at The Truth Behind Wood Identification to approach the task in a proper mindset; I consider the linked article to be required reading for all those visiting my site with the intent of identifying wood.

1. Confirm it is actually solid wood.

Before proceeding too much farther into the remaining steps, it’s first necessary to confirm that the material in question is actually a solid piece of wood, and not a man-made composite or piece of plastic made to imitate wood.

A solid piece of Cocobolo: note how the grain naturally wraps around the sides and endgrain of the wood.

Can you see the end-grain? 

Manufactured wood such as MDF, OSB, and particleboard all have a distinct look that is—in nearly all cases—easily distinguishable from the endgrain of real wood. Look for growth rings—formed by the yearly growth of a tree—which will be a dead-giveaway that the wood sample in question is a solid, genuine chunk of wood taken from a tree.

Viewing the end of this “board” reveals its true identity: particleboard.

Is it veneered? 

If you see a large panel that has a repeating grain pattern, it may be a veneer. In such cases, a very thin layer of real wood is peeled from a tree and attached to a substrate; sometimes the veneer can be one continuous repeating piece because it is rotary-sliced to shave off the veneer layer as the tree trunk is spun by machines. Assuming it is a real wood veneer with a distinct grain and texture—and not merely a piece of printed plastic—you may still be able to identify the outer veneer wood in question, but you should still realize that is it only a veneer and not a solid piece of wood.

Large repeating patterns suggest a veneer.

Is it painted or printed to look like wood? 

Many times, especially on medium to large-sized flat panels for furniture, a piece of particleboard or MDF is either laminated with a piece of wood-colored plastic, or simply painted to look like wood grain. Many of today’s interior hardwood flooring planks are good examples of these pseudo-wood products: they are essentially a man-made material made of sawdust, glues, resins, and durable plastics.

2. Look at the color.

Some questions to immediately ask yourself:

Is the color of the wood natural, or is it stained?

If there is even a chance that the color isn’t natural, the odds are increased that the entire effort of identifying the wood will be in vain.

The reddish brown stain used on this piece of Jatoba (Hymenaea courbaril) has been planed away on top, exposing the paler color of the raw wood underneath.

Is it weathered or have a patina?

Many woods, when left outside in the elements, tend to turn a bland gray color. Also, even interior wood also takes on a patina as it ages: some woods get darker, or redder, and some even get lighter or lose their color; but for the most part, wood tends to darken with age.

Fresh sanding near the end of this Osage Orange (Maclura pomifera) board has exposed the characteristic yellow coloration of the wood, which has a strong tendency to shift down to a golden brown over time.

Is it possible to sand or plane the board to see the natural raw color of the wood?

The most predictable baseline to use when identifying wood is in a freshly sanded state. This eliminates the chances of a stain or natural aging skewing the color diagnosis of the wood.

3. Observe the wood grain.

If the wood is unfinished, then look at the texture of the grain. Ask yourself these questions:

Does the wood have an open, porous texture?

Most softwoods will be almost perfectly smooth with no grain indentations, while many common hardwoods have an open pore structure, such as oak or mahogany; though there are some hardwoods that are also smooth to the touch, such as maple.

Can you tell if the wood is quartersawn or plainsawn?

By observing the grain patterns, many times you can tell how the board was cut from the tree. Some wood species have dramatically different grain patterns from plainsawn to quartersawn surfaces. For instance, on their quartersawn surfaces, lacewood has large lace patterns, oak has flecks, and maple has the characteristic “butcher block” appearance.

Is there any figure or unusual characteristics, such as sapwood, curly or wild grain, burl/knots, etc.?

Some species of wood have figure that is much more common than in other species: for example, curly figure is fairly common in soft maple, and the curls are usually well-pronounced and close together. Yet when birch or cherry has a curly grain, it is more often much less pronounced, and the curls are spaced farther apart.

Curly Maple (sealed)
The strong, tight curl seen in this wood sample is very characteristic of Maple (Acer spp.).

4. Consider the weight and hardness of the wood.

If it’s possible, pick the piece of wood up and get a sense of its weight, and compare it to other known wood species. Try gouging the edge with your fingernail to get a sense of its hardness. If you have a scale, you can take measurements of the length, width, and thickness of the wood, and combine them to find the density of the wood. This can be helpful to compare to other density readings found in the database. When examining the wood in question, compare it to other known wood species, and ask yourself these questions:

Is the wood dry?

Wood from freshly felled trees, or wood that has been stored in an extremely humid environment will have very high moisture contents. In some freshly sawn pieces, moisture could account for over half of the wood’s total weight! Likewise, wood that has been stored in extremely dry conditions of less than 25% relative humidity will most likely feel lighter than average.

How does the wood’s weight compare to other species?

Taking into account the size of the board, how does its weight compare to other benchmark woods? Is it heavier than oak? Is it lighter than pine? Look at the weight numbers for a few wood species that are close to yours, and get a ballpark estimate of its weight.

A piece of Lignum Vitae is weighed on a small digital scale.

How hard is the wood? 

Obviously softwoods will tend to be softer than hardwoods, but try to get a sense of how it compares to other known woods. Density and hardness are closely related, so if the wood is heavy, it will most likely be hard too. If the wood is a part of a finished item that you can’t adequately weigh, you might be able to test the hardness by gouging it in an inconspicuous area. Also, if it is used in a piece of furniture, such as a tabletop, a general idea of its hardness can be assessed by the number and depth of the gouges/dings in the piece given its age and use. A tabletop made of pine will have much deeper dents than a tabletop made of Oak. Additionally, you can always try the “fingernail test” as a rough hardness indicator:  find a crisp edge of the wood, and with your fingernail try to push in as hard as you can and see if you’re able to make a dent in the wood.

5. Consider its history.

Many times we forget common sense and logic when attempting to identify wood. If you’ve got a piece of Amish furniture from Pennsylvania, chances are more likely that the wood  will be made of something like black walnut or cherry, and not African wenge or jatoba. You might call it “wood profiling,” but sometimes it can pay to be a little prejudiced when it comes to wood identification. Some common-sense questions to ask yourself when trying to identify a piece of wood:

Where did it come from?

Knowing as much as you can about the source of the wood—even the smallest details—can be helpful. If the wood came from a wood pile or a lumber mill where all the pieces were from trees processed locally, then the potential species are immediately limited. If the wood came from a builder of antique furniture, or a boat-builder, or a trim carpenter: each of these occupations will tend to use certain species of woods much more often than others, making a logical guess much simpler.

Despite its discoloration and wear, it’s very likely that this rolling pin is made of hard maple.

How old is it?

As with the wood’s source, its age will also help in identification purposes. Not only will it help to determine if the wood should have developed a natural patina, but it will also suggest certain species which were more prevalent at different times in history. For instance, many acoustic guitars made before the 1990s have featured Brazilian rosewood backs/sides, yet due to CITES restrictions placed upon that species, East Indian rosewood became a much more common species on newer guitars. (And this is a continuing shift as newer replacements are sought for rosewoods altogether.)

How large is the piece of wood?

Some species of trees are typically very small—some are even considered shrubs—while others get quite large. For instance, if you see a large panel or section of wood that’s entirely black, chances are it’s either painted, dyed, or stained: Gaboon ebony and related species are typically very small and very expensive.

What is the wood’s intended use?

Simply knowing what the wood was intended for—when considered in conjunction with where it came from and how old it is—can give you many clues to help identify it. In some applications, certain wood species are used much more frequently than others, so that you can make an educated guess as to the species of the wood based upon the application where it was used. For instance, in the United States: many older houses with solid hardwood floors have commonly used either red oak or hard maple; many antique furniture pieces have featured quartersawn white oak; many violins have spruce tops; many closet items used aromatic red cedar, and so forth. While it’s not a 100% guarantee, “profiling” the wood in question will help reduce the number of possible suspects, and aid in deducing the correct species.

6. Find the X-Factor.

Sometimes, after all the normal characteristics of a sample have been considered, the identity of the wood in question is still not apparent. In these instances—particularly in situations where a sample has been narrowed down to only a few possible remaining choices—it’s sometimes helpful to bring in specialized tests and other narrower means of identification.

The following techniques and recommendations don’t necessarily have a wide application in initially sorting out wood species and eliminating large swaths of wood species, but will most likely be of use only as a final step in special identification circumstances.

Odor

Believe it or not, freshly machined wood can have a very identifiable scent. When your eyes and hands can’t quite get a definitive answer, sometimes your nose can. Assuming there is no stain, finish, or preservative on or in the wood, quickly sand, saw, or otherwise machine a section of the wood in question, and take a whiff of the aroma.

Although new scents can be very difficult to express in words, many times the scent of an unknown wood may be similar to other known scents. For instance, rosewoods (Dalbergia spp.) are so named for their characteristic odor that is reminiscent of roses. Although difficult to directly communicate, with enough firsthand experience scents can become a memorable and powerful means of wood identification.

Fluorescence

While certain woods can appear basically identical to one another under normal lighting conditions, when exposed to certain wavelengths—such as those found in blacklights—the wood will absorb and emit light in a different (visible) wavelength. This phenomenon is known as fluorescence, and certain woods can be distinguished by the presence or absence of their fluorescent qualities. See the article Fluorescence: A Secret Weapon in Wood Identification for more information.

Black Locust: fluorescence (under blacklight)
Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) glows a bright yellow-green when placed under a blacklight.

Chemical Testing

There are only a small number of chemical tests regularly used on wood, most of which are very specialized and were developed to help distinguish easily confused species with one another. They work by detecting differences in the composition of heartwood extractives. A chemical substance (called a reagent) is usually dissolved in water and applied to the wood surface: the surface is then observed for any type of chemical reaction (and accompanying color change) that may occur. Two of the most useful are the tests that are meant to separate Red and White Oak, and Red and Hard Maple.

Heartwood Extractives Leachability

Sometimes a wood species will have heartwood extractives that will be readily leachable in water and capable of conspicuously tinting a solution of water a specific color. For instance, the heartwood extractives contained in osage orange (Maclura pomifera) contain a yellowish-brown dye that is soluble in water. (This can sometimes be observed anecdotally when the wood is glued with a water-based adhesive: the glue’s squeeze-out is an unusually vibrant yellow.)

In a simple water extract color test, wood shavings are mixed with water in a vial, test tube, or other suitably small container, and the color of the water is observed after a few minutes. If the heartwood extractives are leachable by water, then a corresponding color change should quickly occur.

In addition to osage orange (Maclura pomifera)merbau (Intsia spp.), and rengas (Gluta spp. and Melanorrhoea spp.) are also noted for their readily leachable heartwood extractives. Because this property is quite uncommon, it can serve to quickly differentiate these woods from other lookalikes.

7. Look at the endgrain.

Perhaps no other technique for accurate identification of wood is as helpful and conclusive as the magnified examination of the endgrain. Frequently, it brings the identification process from a mostly intuitive, unscientific process into a predictable, repeatable, and reliable procedure.

Looking at the endgrain with a magnifier shouldn’t be a mystifying or esoteric art. In many cases, it’s nearly as simple as examining small newsprint under a magnifying glass. There are three components necessary to reap the full benefits contained in the endgrain:

I. A prepared surface.

When working with wood in most capacities, it becomes quickly apparent that endgrain surfaces are not nearly as cooperative or as easily worked as face grain surfaces. However, in this case, it is absolutely critical that a clear and refined endgrain surface is obtained.

For a quick glance of a softwood sample, a very sharp knife or razor blade can be used to take a fresh slice from the endgrain. However, in many denser species, especially in tropical hardwoods, one of the best ways to obtain a clear endgrain view is through diligent sanding. It’s usually best to begin with a relatively smooth saw cut (as from a fine-toothed miter saw blade) and proceed through the grits, starting at around 100, and working up to at least 220 or 320 grit, preferably higher for the cleanest view.

II. The right magnifier.

It need not be expensive, but whatever tool is used to view the endgrain should have adequate magnifying power. In most instances, 10x magnification is ideal, however, anything within the range of 8 to 15x magnification should be suitable for endgrain viewing. (Standard magnifying glasses are typically in the range of 2 to 4x magnification.)

These stronger magnifiers, sometimes called loupes, usually have a smaller viewing area than standard magnifying glasses. Fancier models—with built in lights, or larger viewing surfaces—are available at a premium; but the most basic models are usually only a few dollars.

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III. A trained eye.

The third element that constitutes a proper endgrain examination is simply knowing what to look for. In analyzing the patterns, colors, shapes, and spacing of the various anatomical features, there is a veritable storehouse of information within the endgrain—all waiting to be unlocked. Yet, if these elements have not been pointed out and learned, the array of features will simply seem like an unintelligible jumble. The discipline of recognizing anatomical endgrain features is not easily summed up in a few sentences or even a few paragraphs, but it is nonetheless critical to the identification process. To this end, an in-depth look should be given to the various categories, divisions, and elements that constitute endgrain wood identification on the macroscopic level. (In this regard, macroscopic denotes what can be seen with a low-powered, 10x hand lens—without the aid of a microscope—rather than simply what can be seen with the naked eye.) Because the anatomy between softwoods and hardwoods is so divergent, each will be considered and examined separately:

Still stumped?

If you have a mysterious piece of wood that you’d like identified, you’ve got a few options for next steps:

USDA’s Forest Products Laboratory

You can mail your physical wood samples to the Center for Wood Anatomy Research

Pros:

  • Free
  • Professional wood identification

Cons:

  • Only available to US citizens
  • Slow turnaround times (up to a month or more)
  • Limited to three IDs per year

See their Wood ID Factsheet for more info.

Alden Identification Service

You can mail your physical wood samples (even small sections taken from antiques) to Alden Identification Service.

Pros:

  • Professional wood identification
  • Faster turnaround times (ranging from a few days to a week or two)

Cons:

  • Paid service

See their ordering page for more info. (Note that Harry Alden has written several books while at USDA, including both Hardwoods and Softwoods of North America.)

Ask for help online

If the wood ID is merely a curiosity, or non-critical, you can post pictures of the wood in question.

Pros:

  • Free
  • No need to send physical samples

Cons:

  • Greatly limited by the quality of the pictures provided
  • Extra work usually required to get adequate clarity in photos

See article of Common US Hardwoods to help find the most commonly used woods.

Get the hard copy

wood-book-standupIf you’re interested in getting all that makes The Wood Database unique distilled into a single, real-world resource, there’s the book that’s based on the website—the Amazon.com best-seller, WOOD! Identifying and Using Hundreds of Woods Worldwide. It contains many of the most popular articles found on this website, as well as hundreds of wood profiles—laid out with the same clarity and convenience of the website—packaged in a shop-friendly hardcover book.
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Bob Kemp

I’m refinishing a dining table purchased st Pier 1 Imports for friends. I have the legs stripped & this is the grain. Any idea what species this is?

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Unknown but I suspect the Far East or Asia (furniture purchased @ Pier 1 Imports)
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Sasha

I got this MCM table with veneer top and I’d love to have the veneer damage fixed. Do you know what this top might be? From what I understand, this type of table is usually veneered with either walnut, teak, or rosewood. The photos were taken inside using natural light. Any clues is much appreciated.

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
USA
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Jan

Any idea what this wood is?

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
NC
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Kenny W

Hi, Hopefully this should be an easy one.
Pub table tops?
normally on these black heavy metal stands

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Unsure
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Kevin Howard

Hello. I am trying to identify this wood. I’m told it came from a tree in China but I have no means to verify. It is extremely heavy and very dense. Sawdust has no real aroma to either.

Wood weight
Extremely heavy (sinks in water)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Washington state. But I was told the wood is from China
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Andrew Maltz

Hi Eric!!!! I trust/hope you got through the pandemic ok!!! About 3 years ago you made my day, week (maybe month) by telling me a clock I got on Goodwill.com was probably Walnut, after I’d considered myself too optimistic/unrealistic to hope it might be mahogany!!! I’m still thrilled to this day over it: my one big (relatively) score in thrift shopping!! Hurray Eric!!! I just got 2 chairs which may be very cheap or maybe high-end. I can live with either (I am still after all this time so happy to have a walnut clock!!), even if my chairs are… Read more »

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Don’t know where it’s from!
Rusty

Can someone identify the wood. I am guessing walnut.

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Purchased in the gulf coast region
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James W

I am seeking assistance in identifying this type of wood. I am somewhat familiar with the maker and know that he has used paduak, walnut and rosewood woods, among others, for this instrument. Even after looking at pictures of various woods, I am unsure. Thank you in advance for any insight.

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Maryland
wood.jpg
Kimberly Tonelli

Can anyone tell me what kind of wood this live edge table is? It was purchased in the 1970s and has no markings on the bottom. Thanks!

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Purchased in Midwest
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Merlin Ellis

I picked up some heavy wood from someone that thought this was oak. The surface under the bark is very wavy. Can you help me ID this wood?

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
Yes
Geographic region
Phoenix, Arizona
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Tighe McKenzie

Piece of wood from a pallet. Might be pine? Pls help me identify it.

Wood weight
Fairly light (like pine)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Western Australia
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Edward Portess

I found this piece in a relative’s garage in England. He was a woodturner. It is hard and dense. I thought it might be some type of mahogany.

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Unknown
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Gary caron

Got this at a hardwood store bout 40 yrs ago. Wood is aprox 8″ wide and 3/4″ thick. Am hoping you can identify. Heavy like rosewood, havent tried to float it.

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Unknown
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Thomas Case

Is it Miranti? Fits the weight description and miranti can have that mahogany color.

Scott

Hello. I’ve been cleaning up an old table that’s been through a lot (storage in a basement, things piled on it, and coastal storm surges from two hurricanes). After sanding to remove a finish, and oxalic acid to remove water stains (which, it’s not unlikely, lightened the wood in general), this is what I have:

Wood weight
Fairly light (like pine)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
New York
table.jpg
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Marlyn

Any chance of identifying what wood our dining table is made of?

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Florida
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Anna

download The google app and select little camera in search bar, take picture of the table from the long side and see if the table comes up, often it will, if the chairs came with the table they would be even easier to image search, good luck I’m curious about this wood too

Bob Kissane

Can anyone tell me what this species is? The pictures are of sanded face and end grain of a 2″ rough board.Thanks

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Massachusetts
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Russell G.

I’m looking to ID a similar white fine straight grained wood, I’m wondering if it’s maple, one piece has an odd, possibly curly figure look to it ;?) It’s from a director’s chair made back in the 1980’s if that’s any help, lol.

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Last edited 7 days ago by Russell G.
Sam

Hi, Eric: An old friend of mine is looking for an ID. He said this piece has been sitting out in the elements for years (North Alabama). There’s no rot and no sign of any bugs. It’s dense and heavy, and, quote, “cuts like it’s iron.” Thought I’d bounce it off you now that he’s turned it some.

Wood weight
Extremely heavy (sinks in water)
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
North Central Alabama
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Trae Schneider

Can anyone help me identify the wood type contents of the rest of the axe such as the blade. This ceremonial axe from Congo, believed to be the Lega Tribe, maybe Warega….

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
Congo
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Jan Putnam

Re posting just now about JW dresser ca 1960. More photos – didn’t previously attach.

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
North America
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Jan Putnam

Hi Eric. Your website is very informative. But unfortunately I still haven’t been able to identify the bedroom dresser I inherited which was made by John Widdicomb Co of Grand Rapids, Michigan circa early 1960’s. It was considered rather high end ‘designer’ furniture at the time and was originally finished in white with painted gold trim, and was refinished in medium brown about 12 years ago. Underneath and inside drawer photos presumably represent original interior finish. The wood seems relatively heavy to me, but as a petite woman I’m probably not a reliable judge. I am hoping that you can… Read more »

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
North America
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Cristina

Hi! I’m wondering what kind of wood this coffee table is made out of…I bought it at goodwill and removed a honey colored finish. The table is moderately heavy.
Thanks so much!
– Cristina

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
California
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Anthony Wieland

Hey! great article, I had no idea about the USDA wood ID service, that is super cool! I was hoping to get some direction on this slab I’m looking to ID, the online ad only has this picture but it looks fairly unique in its characteristics so I was hoping it might be enough for a genus or family of tree perhaps. A couple people in another group said its a spine of pine, but others said that wasn’t correct so I’m a bit lost. I’m waiting on extra details from the guy selling it, but figured it was worth… Read more »

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
phoenix, AZ
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ben

Spalted Maple?

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
NJ
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ben

I believe this is Sycamore

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
NJ
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Namanbir

Hey,
I got this window from a carpenter. But I’m afraid whether he used the correct wood or not.

Can you tell what wood is this?

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
India
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Mike Duffy

Hi Eric, I’d like to ask a general question about obtaining an estimate of the specific gravity (12% MC) of a piece of wood. My normal approach, where possible, is to cut a rectangular sample of the unknown wood, measure all 3 dimensions to calculate the volume, then weight the sample & derive the grams/cm3 value. (Otherwise I’d immerse the piece of wood in a measuring jug to see what volume it displaces). I do this to the sample once it has been left indoors (CH house) for a while. I’m assuming the value derived would approach the 12% MC… Read more »

Wood weight
I don't know
Distinct wood odor?
I don't know
Geographic region
England
Kelly Mekawy

Hiya Eric, calling from Australia. I bought this repro? Art Deco hall stand at a recent auction with amazing solid show wood, but am unable to identify it. Would appreciate any help. Kindest regards Kelly.

Wood weight
Extremely heavy (sinks in water)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Australia
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Jim

These are from a fallen house that looks like the wood was harvested and milled on site. The house was built at least 100 years ago and appears to have collapsed at least 20 years ago. The wood used is a mix of oak, pine, eastern cedar (Juniper) and this species. The oak and pine were mostly hand hewn logs wit a lot of rot, especially in the pine. There is very little rot in this species, considering that the house is just a pile of rubble. All pieces are heavily weathered, some pieces are completely solid, others are “wormy”… Read more »

Wood weight
Fairly light (like pine)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Chattanooga, TN
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Sebastian

Hello Eric! I have a piece of a board that was left from my grandfather. I have tried to figure out what type of wood it is and am pretty sure it’s some sort of Rosewood. When worked the wood has a fairly powerful sweet&spicy scent. The wood is heavy but not as heavy as ebony, however it has likely been stored in a dry environment for atleast 2 or more decades so maybe that has affected it? Unfortunately I only had this small piece available for photos (which are taken on my phone) but maybe you have a chance… Read more »

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
Yes
Geographic region
Sweden
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Sebastian

Thanks Eric!
I don’t know what continent it is from but the most likely is probably South America.

Thomas Case

Looks a lot like Bocote to me.

Brandon

Hi. Trying to figure out what species of wood this is. This is framing from a house in Massachusetts built in 1920. I personally want to say it smells oaky when cut, but maybe there are other woods that also smell oaky — I really don’t know. It feels hard-ish, but is super dry and quite light. Definitely not nearly as dense or hard as modern red oak that I would buy from a lumber yard. I can compress it somewhat easily in a vice and it’s rather splintery. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Wood weight
Fairly light (like pine)
Distinct wood odor?
Yes
Geographic region
Massachusetts
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Brandon

Thanks for looking. I don’t know if it helps but here’s some more pics taken with cleaner cuts. Also took one with my 60x pocket microscope but maybe that’s too much mag to be useful. Anyway, at the very least knowing it’s not oak is a huge help. Thanks again.

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Ian

I found this dinning room set. I need to make a leaf for the table so I’m curious what type of wood this is.

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
Upstate NY
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Chris

I bought an assorted lot of rough lumber from an old sawyer. Im in southern illinois. I dont know what this guy is. Its super dense.

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
St. Louis
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Chris

Hey thanks Eric,
I do believe you’re correct. The google machine showed similarly, once the it was named correctly.
Thanks again!

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Ali

Hi this wood came from a construction beam. I couldn’t get high definition photos cuz my phone rear camera is broke but, I try to compensate with editing hope it would be clear.
Wood dents with finger nail rather easy, planes bit harder than what I believe, I had is pine from a salvaged pallet (yellow) Thank you for your effort. I forgot the add pictures comment before sorry! Couldn’t add after seems like

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
turkey
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Sean Galliher

I got these samples from some pallets at work. I believe this is all the same species. It is some kind of very hardwood with beautiful grain patterns. Anyone know what it is?

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
No
Geographic region
I'm not sure
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Sean Galliher

I looked around alot on the web after I sent the question to you and I had settled on lati. I believe that’s what it is but I’m still not 100% certain. Either way, this is some very pretty wood. I did part of a wall in my bedroom with it. Turned out well. A little Danish oil to really bring out the grain patterns

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Chris

I bought this piece at an architectural salvage place in St. Louis. So it’s probably of Midwest origin. Came out of a barn. 12″x6/4×17′. Ran it through the planer and this is the result. Help!

Wood weight
Fairly heavy (like oak)
Distinct wood odor?
Yes
Geographic region
Midwest
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Chris

That was my first thought given that it was pulled from a barn and most likely a floor joist or roof truss being 17′ long. The grain isn’t like anything I’ve seen before. Parts look like the grain you see in pine and some places look like maple to me, but it’s too soft for maple. On a side note, not sure how it’s related, If it’s a character of the wood or a product of whatever was done in the barn. Carrying it, I rubbed my bare arm against the unplaned board and the wood fibers imbedded in my… Read more »

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